Entries in Soul (9)


The Very Best of Gil Scott-Heron

Yesterday another legend passed. Aged 62, Gil Scott-Heron was a musician, poet and author who has been a pioneer of Spoken Word, Hip-Hop and Soul for the the past 40 years. He was one of music's most charismatic personalities and inspired many people through his unique talent to tell stories in a way that no-one else could. During the late 60s and early 70s in particular his role was crucial, as black poets were the news-givers, ­because their stories were not covered in truth in the mainstream media. Through doing this many people believe that he is the Godfather of rap; with albums such as 'Pieces Of A Man', Gil Scott-Heron took soul/funk/spoken word to a whole new level and pretty much single-handedly created Hip-Hop as we know it today. Check the tracklist and grab the download link below - you will probably recognise most songs from some of your favourite Hip-Hop tracks of all-time. A genius, who will be sorely missed.

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The Very Best of Michael Jackson

Here is the penultimate Best Of, which is going to pay tribute to my favourite artist of all time. Michael Jackson is by far and away the most famous musician the world has ever seen and the impact his music has had on my life and millions of others is second to none. Although he had some massive problems in his personal life; nobody can deny the amount of natural talent this man had and the fact that he single handedly created the modern day music video and changed the world of music, for the better. As a child I remember my mum and dad playing his music constantly and I am pretty sure I will be doing the same thing when I have children of my own. He created timeless music that was years ahead of its time and for me personally, Thriller and Off The Wall are the two best albums of all time and will probably never be bettered. One thing that is guaranteed though: there will never be another Michael Jackson. He always had a positive message and tried to make the world a better place through the power of music. I miss him so much. Tracklist and download link after the jump.

Final: Dilla.

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The Very Best of Maxwell, Raphael Saadiq & Bilal

Today is a special Best Of, which pays tribute to 3 of my favourite male vocalists of all time. Throughout their careers they have all been compared to/mistaken for women, which tells you a lot about the type of voices they have. They all have flawless discography’s and albums such as Instant Vintage, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite and 1st Born Second are some of the best I’ve ever heard, from any genre. These men are the modern day equivalents of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye & Al Green - they make soul music that comes straight from the heart, which is very rare for a lot of artists these days. This year; Bilal has had the best R&B album of the year. Last year; Maxwell had the best R&B album of the year. The year before that; Raphael Saadiq had the best R&B album of the year. That alone says a lot about the quality of their music and the impact they have all had on my life. Tracklist and download link after the jump.

Next: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.

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The Very Best of Erykah Badu

Can’t quite believe it’s taken this long; but after 23 Best Of’s, it’s time to cover my first female. It was definitely worth the wait though, because I have decided to pay tribute to my favourite female artist of all time, Ms. Erykah Badu. Since the release of Baduizm in 1997 she has been at the forefront of R&B/Soul music with her eccentric, cerebral musical stylings and sense of fashion. Although she has never received a great deal of mainstream success, the amount of respect and appreciation she has gained along the way has been quite incredible. Working with the likes of Dilla, ?uestlove & Madlib throughout her entire career also shows the effect she has had on other genre’s away from soul music. She is a revolutionary artist who in the future will be seen as one of the most important figures to come from our generation. I can’t explain how much love I have for this woman - I urge you all to listen to this and appreciate one of the greatest and most consistent artists of the past 20 years. You should also go and buy New Amerykah, Pt. 2 - Return of the Ankh too, because it’s still the best R&B/Soul album of 2010, by quite a long way. Tracklist and download link after the jump.

Tomorrow: The Notorious B.I.G. & 2Pac.

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The Very Best of D'Angelo

Time for a super smooth session on this gloomy saturday night. Although he has only released two studio albums; D’Angelo’s impact on Soul/R&B and my life has be quite incredible. For me, he has the greatest voice of all time -granted he hasn’t released enough material to be compared with the likes of Marvin or Stevie, but it just seems so effortless for him and he is the definition of soul music. A lot of people feel as though Voodoo is the better of his two albums; however I believe Brown Sugar is THE best soul album to ever be released - it has everything and is an album that never fails to lift my spirits when I’m down. I don’t really know or care about what has been going on in his private life throughout the past 10 years; I just hope that he pulls himself together and finishes his long awaited 3rd album, because I need some new D’Angelo in my life. I advise you all to download this and save it for that special moment with your loved one, if you know what I mean. Tracklist and download link after the jump.

Tomorrow: The Pharcyde.

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The Very Best of The Foreign Exchange

This is a Best Of that I was going to leave till the very end (because it’s probably the best I’ll do); however, after receiving a postcard from Nicolay this morning, I thought it would be the perfect time to publish it with the release of their 3rd album rapidly approaching. The story behind the creation of The Foreign Exchange is definitely the most special in modern day music and is something that you should research if you don’t already know about it. Throughout the past 6 years they have become my favourite group/label in the world and the chemistry between Phonte and Nicolay has produced some of the greatest music of all time. Yes I said it - all time. Connected was a revolutionary album for both Hip-Hop & Soul; however Leave It All Behind is one of the most incredible albums I’ve ever listened to and one day I can see it becoming my favourite album of all time. They make timeless music from the heart that I can enjoy with my mum, dad, sister and gran - that is a very rare quality in music these days. Zo!, Yahzarah and Darien Brockington all play a huge part in making the FE family so special and 2 of them have already released albums this year, which are streets ahead of any other R&B/Soul music that is out there at the moment. I could honestly talk all day about these guys, but it’s sometimes best to just let the music do the talking. Cannot wait to hear Authenticity next month. Hopefully you all fall in love with their music like I have. Tracklist and download link after the jump.

Friday: Eminem.

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The Very Best of Marvin Gaye

Today it is time to take a step back in time and pay tribute to possibly the smoothest guy to ever pick up a microphone. For as long as I can recall; Marvin Gaye has been an artist who my mum and dad have always played around the house and that has seemingly rubbed off on me, as I would now say that he is one of my favourite artists of all time. He definitely has the best voice I’ve ever heard anyway - it’s so pure and comes across as being so effortless for him. Something that upsets me is that a lot of people (my age) don’t know much about him past his ‘big hits’ (Sexual Healing & Let’s Get It On), when his entire discography is a thing of beauty and something that should be celebrated a lot more than it is. However; even though he is not with us any more, his legacy will live on forever through his own music and that of others too, as he still remains to be one of the most frequently sampled artists in both Hip-Hop and House. I really need a woman in my life to share these 30 tracks with. They don’t make artists like this any more. Tracklist and download link after the jump.

Tomorrow: Wu-Tang Clan (Group)

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The Very Best of John Legend

John Stephens, or John Legend as he is better known to most, is someone who has become one of my favourite artists over the past 6 years. Since 2004 his music has been a complete breath of fresh air - I personally believe that he has rejuvenated soul music as a whole and raised the bar when it comes to male R&B vocalists. All 3 of his solo albums have been simply breath-taking and seeing him perform live 3 times is something that I feel privileged to have done, because I truly believe that he will go down in musical history as a modern day great. His upcoming album with The Roots is a project that I genuinely can’t wait for. Tracklist and download link after the jump.

Tomorrow: Snoop Doggy Dogg.

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The Very Best of Stevie Wonder

Legend is a word that is brandished about far too often these days, but that is the only word that can accurately describe this man. Stevie Wonder is an incredible man, a hero of mine and the last living artist of his kind. I regret not seeing him when he was over earlier this year and can only pray that he will be coming over again one day, because there will never be another Stevie Wonder. Never ever.

Tomorrow: OutKast

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